Can Superman push the Earth?
J. Michael Stracyznski’s Superman: Earth One graphic novels are essentially the Man Of Steel by way of Michael Bay: lots of action and sexy ladies but not very much ingenuity. Vol. 2 (DC) is an improvement over the first installment largely because it doesn’t feature a cheap Galactus rip-off ruining Superman’s origin, but there are still plenty of questionable story developments. The very first panel spotlights Clark’s initial article for the Daily Planet, an interview with Superman that crosses all kinds of journalistic ethical boundaries. And yes, a Superman story requires that the reader suspend the disbelief that people won’t make the connection that Clark is Superman, but how could someone like Lois Lane not put the pieces together when Clark is the only person to get an exclusive interview with someone that looks exactly like him? Especially when she spends this entire volume looking into Clark’s past.
The real groans come courtesy of this book’s Clark Kent subplot, which finds him unable to have sex with his hot neighbor because he will destroy her vagina. Clark wants to hit that, but he can’t forget the words of his father: “Man of steel—woman of tissue paper.” It’s an awkward way of humanizing the hero, and when Clark temporarily loses his powers fighting the Parasite, he’s ends up just whining instead of taking advantage of his new situation. Stracyznski has a ham-handed way of trying to bring a human side to the fantastic drama, throwing in one-note characters like the Parasite’s sister Theresa and Clark’s heroin-addicted neighbor Eddie for failed attempts at poignancy.